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Characterization and formation mechanisms of rail chips from facing grinding by abrasive wheel
Journal of Manufacturing Processes  (IF5.01),  Pub Date : 2021-11-23, DOI: 10.1016/j.jmapro.2021.11.032
Haohao Ding, Jinyu Yang, Wenjian Wang, Jun Guo, Qiyue Liu

Rail grinding is a widely-used method to eliminate surface damages on railway tracks. The grinding chips are closely related to the grinding parameters and the grinding quality. Therefore, the investigation on the characteristics and the formation mechanism of chips from rail grinding is beneficial for the optimization of rail grinding process. In the present study, the grinding chips from the real rail grinding in the field and from the rail grinding experiments in the laboratory were analyzed in terms of their morphologies, microstructural evolution and chemical characteristics. The results showed that flowing, knife, slice and spherical chips were generated during rail grinding. The formation mechanism of flowing, knife and slice chips was plastic deformation by forces from abrasive grains with oxidation in air by grinding heat. Primary and secondary shear zones and central zones were generated. In the primary shear zone, cracks were generated in knife and slice chips. In the secondary shear zone, obvious plastic deformation was formed in knife and slice chips and a significant white etching layer (WEL) was generated in knife chips. The formation mechanism of spherical chips was melting of small powdery grinding debris by the high temperature and the subsequent solidification, accompanied with severe oxidization in air. The oxides produced in chips consisted of FeO, Fe3O4, Fe2O3 and AlFe2O4. The grinding quality could be predicted through observing the grinding debris. The larger percentage of flowing chips represented the better grinding quality (smaller surface roughness, slighter surface burn and thinner WEL on ground rail), which could be the goal for the grinding parameters choice.